My journey had taken me to Goroka in the highlands of Papua New Guinea. It was September and the annual famous Goroka show, the Sing-Sing, took place.
I never saw more Whiteskins during my time on PNG. They travel by plane for two to three days, often from Australia , spending the night at the "Bird of Paradise" or the "Pacific Gardens" to pay € 70 for entry into the VIP grandstand under police protection.
The common people, when celebrities and wealthy whites have taken their seats, may stand for hours to enter the grounds. The ticket costs only a few Kina, but the onslaught on the two counters is huge and a special unit of the police, armed like an infantry platoon, attacks often hard. Partly the actions seem arbitrary.
Member of the "Mobile Squad", notorious for its often overworked hardness special police unit
Goroka is a dangerous place anyway, especially when more than 40 tribes and 10,000 Niguinis come to town for a peaceful dance festival. Going to the show alone is just not a smart idea, especially for me as white-faced white people.
To dispel the safety concerns of my Wanwoks, I invite four strong Niguini men from a friendly family. They are vigilant and not only protect me, they are also a good source of information.
Arrival of the dance groups on Friday. Many take a day long journey in purchase.
There is still little going on Fridays. Just a few weeks have passed since the last parliamentary elections and many of the tribes are wearing elaborate decorations to demonstrate their support for their favorite Member of Parliament.
The show starts
Individualists also arrive ...
On Saturdays Sing-Sing reaches its peak. The groups move into the fenced festival area with singing, music and dancing. A feast for the senses ... After five hours in the sunlamp Gorokas my index finger hurts, my left arm can barely lift the telephoto lens and the counter of my EOS shows more than 2500 pictures. I'm into a frenzy, dance groups line up and many of the traditional costumes are so detailed and colorful that I do not even know where to look first. I am so overwrought that in the short breaks I stare at a nearby concrete wall to give my brain some rest.
Scenes you only see in New Guinea: